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Pakistan played ‘perfect game’ in Champions Trophy win, says Gilchrist

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Former Australia cricket legend Adam Gilchrist has said that Pakistan played a perfect game in thrashing India by 180 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final on Sunday to embrace the title for the first time.

Australian Cricket Legend Adam Gilchrist credited Pakistan’s adaptability and perseverance in the face of domestic challenges as key to their rout of favourites India in the Champions Trophy.

Pakistan has entered the eight-team Champions Trophy in England and Wales ranked dead last, but upset arch-rivals India with a 180-run thrashing in Sunday´s final.

Speaking at the Australia-India Sports Partnership Meet in New Delhi on Monday, Gilchrist said:

“Deep in your heart, as a cricket lover, you can´t be disappointed to see a nation like that (win). We all know their struggles of not getting any international cricket back home.”

“They are basically a nomadic team which plays abroad. Perhaps because of that, they were able to adjust well in those conditions.” He added

It was Pakistan’s first international 50-over trophy since winning the 1992 World Cup.

Gilchrist compared their ‘against the odds’ win to the West Indies’ victory over England in the World Twenty20 final in 2016, despite troubles plaguing their cricket board at home.

“The only predictable thing about Pakistan cricket is that they are unpredictable,” said the former wicketkeeper-batsman, adding the win was a “positive story” for cricket.

“Pakistan played what seems to be a perfect game of cricket. India, after a very impressive tournament, just got caught out on the big final day. That can happen.”

Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first in the final has been criticised after Pakistan put up a magnificent batting performance. However, Gilchrist said the nature of the tournament was such that one cannot criticise Kohli’s decision.

“In most of the games in this edition, the team batting second won the match. You have to look at that historical component in this tournament. India have done well chasing and were comfortable batting second,” Gilchrist said.

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